Stuck

A man and a woman, a guy and a gal, a gentleman and a dame—they enter a room. A few months later, they go to leave and discover the woman can’t fit through the door. I get you. Preggers. Alea iacta est. A snake enters a mouse den– –do they call them den’s? Your snake …

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4 Questions for Marianne del Cerriota

Marianne del Cerriota, M.D. is a senior fellow at the Kassel Institute for Bio-Economic Policy, a think-tank in San Diego. del Cerriota is a respected authority on bioeconomics issues at the frontier of medicine and technology, most notably generative medicine and semantic bio-diagnostic research. Author or editor of 14 books as well as a chapbook …

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Freshman Composition as a Window into College Prep

Freshman composition evolved from Harvard’s English 8—a course in which students read “great literature” and applied New Critical methods to analyze it. The course focused on close reading, Literature appreciation, and argument—though the last in only a very narrow sense, since it was argument restricted to the terms set forth in the piece of literature. The …

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Paling Kings

“Most of us are allowed to go through the span of life allotted to us in actuarial tables.” from The Echo newspaper, November 1, 1869 Except the tables don’t tell the whole tale, do they? There are also qualitative burdens—especially when it comes to certain folks, say for example kings, who: …must bear all. O …

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Democratization of Language

Subtitle: Have you ever seen the phrase “piacular recompense” and the word “stuff” (the noun variety) in the same sentence? After Tuesday there will be no more President Bush press conferences. During these linguistic spectacles, the Harvard- and Yale-educated oil-tycoon scion sometimes dropped the “g’s” off his gerunds and uttered phrases such as “We’re gonna …

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Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton

In a radio interview, Tracy Kidder, who’s written quite a few good books and at least one important one, advocated for a sort of Maxwell’s demon approach to book reading. He divides books into two main categories: books in which he has interest and books in which he does not. He went on to say …

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Already There

One of the difficulties of diagnosing contemporary US culture is that we lack perspective. Here’s a helpful ichthyological fable I heard somewhere: Two young little fish are swimming around and they come across a big older fish who asks, “How’s the water, boys?” The little guys are unsure of how to respond and they swim …

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Apocalyptic Occasion with a Curmudgeonly, Andy-Rooneyesque Beginning

Can you believe the newspaper? Have a look at the last two graphs from a recent article in the business section detailing the long lines and general excitement associated with the release of the new Blackberry Storm: Standing on line in San Francisco’s financial district, Fred Vassard, a systems administrator, said he owns both versions …

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Blast from the Past

“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that …

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